Today in Islamophobia

A daily list of headlines about Islamophobia
compiled by the Bridge Initiative

Each day, the Bridge Initiative aims to bring you the news you need to know about Islamophobia. This resource will be updated every weekday at approximately 11:00 AM EST.

Today in Islamophobia Newsletter

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10 Feb 2021

Today in Islamophobia: China bans Clubhouse app as thousands share stories about Xinjiang and Tiananmen Square. UK Muslims complain to UN over Sri Lanka’s cremation policy. Muslim Americans lament lost time with loved ones after lifting of travel ban. Our recommended read today is by Jill Filipovic on Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and how she “seems to latch onto the trope of men of color threatening virtuous white women, a particular kind of fearmongering with a long and ugly history.” This, and more, below:

United States

10 Feb 2021

Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Muslim Men and Western Women | Recommended Read

Her latest project only amplifies these incongruities. “Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights” argues that immigration from majority-Muslim countries imperils the hard-won rights of European women. Muslim men, who are by Hirsi Ali’s telling accustomed to gender-segregated societies in which female modesty is mandated and women are harassed out of public life, arrived in Europe in droves during the previous decade’s migration crisis, bringing old orthodoxies — and violent enforcement of them — to their new Northern homes. As a result, she says, European women face endemic sexual harassment and violence. Even worse, in an effort to not be seen as xenophobic or feed into rising right-wing nationalism, liberal Europeans are complicit in their own mounting oppression, playing down misogyny as mere multiculturalism even as Western women are criminally assaulted, told to cover their bodies and driven from the streets of their own cities. Hirsi Ali calls for a new feminist movement, one in which true feminists are “prepared to stand up for the rights of all women” and coalesce around the issue of “women’s safety from predatory men.” read the complete article

Our recommended read of the day
10 Feb 2021

7 Muslim-positive TV shows to stream right now

This year’s Golden Globe nominations, in which for the first time three Muslim actors got nods, were a reminder that in the last few years, the television industry has allowed Muslims to go beyond “representing” on the small screen to actually portraying characters who are human beings. There are still too many stereotypes answering TV writers’ need for a villainous terrorist bomber, but in the great cultural mirror that is TV, it can be said that a start has been made. Here are a few shows, from glossy network productions to web series, that Muslims — and those interested in the Muslim experience — can stream without eye rolls. read the complete article

10 Feb 2021

Google Kicks Location Data Broker That Sold Muslim Prayer App User Data

Last week, Google sent a seven-day warning to app developers on its Android platform telling them to remove code from location data broker Predicio or face having their apps removed from the Play Store, Google told Motherboard on Monday. Predicio is a France-based firm that pays app developers for access to their users' granular location data, which then sells that data to its own clients. Predicio is part of a complex supply chain connected to Venntel, a U.S. government contractor that has sold location data to law enforcement agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). read the complete article

10 Feb 2021

'You don't have a second chance': Muslim Americans lament lost time with loved ones after lifting of travel ban

Ever since her son was born in 2019, Sarvin Haghighi, a Tehran-born visual artist in Chicago, has made daily video calls to her parents so they can share in their grandson’s life. And every day, she said, it breaks her heart. Kian, who will turn 2 next month, is excited to show his toys to his Iranian grandmother when he sees her onscreen. But, ultimately, Haghighi wishes her mom could hold and hug her grandson. “There’s not a day that I don’t have a teary eye,” Haghighi said. The two have been separated by more than miles: As Iranian citizens, her parents have been barred from visiting the United States by an executive order issued in 2017 by former President Donald Trump. The so-called Muslim Ban, which on the grounds of national security prohibited U.S. entry by people from certain primarily Muslim countries, including Iran, was rescinded by President Joe Biden on his first day in office. read the complete article


10 Feb 2021

'Hyper-Nationalism Making India Intolerant; Muslims Feel Insecure': Hamid Ansari

In a candid and outspoken interview, India’s last Vice President has said that “a version of nationalism that places cultural commitments at its core and promotes intolerance and arrogant patriotism has tended to intrude into and takeover the political and cultural landscape”. Referring to it as “hyper-nationalism” and “strident nationalism” he says it threatens dissent and is making the country insecure about its place in the world. Hamid Ansari says it’s also making India intolerant, arrogant and insecure. read the complete article

10 Feb 2021

Countering ‘love jihad’ by celebrating India’s interfaith couples

The petitioners said innocent people, mainly Muslims, were being unfairly penalised under the so-called “love jihad” laws, and that at least two other Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-governed states, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, were also planning similar laws. “Love jihad” refers to a conspiracy theory propagated for more than 10 years by India’s right-wing groups that accuse Muslim men of luring Hindu women for marriage to forcefully convert them to Islam. read the complete article

United Kingdom

10 Feb 2021

Woman's Hour's White Feminism Let Down Female Imams Like Me

In an interview about Zara’s momentous appointment, Barnett homed in on this one, non-existent statistic: “How many female imams are there in the UK?” Zara rightly asked for some clarification – “are you referring to chaplains, are you referring to women who lead the prayer? What are you referring to?” – but was met with: “You tell me.” Cue facepalming from Muslim women across the country at the lack of religious literacy from an experienced journalist, and at the shaming of a Muslim woman of colour by a white woman on a woman-led radio show. Barnett likened statistical representation of female imams to the number of Muslims recorded in the UK census, and the appointment of female imams to female priests and rabbis. She hadn’t done enough basic research to know that there is no registry of imams (of any gender) where this statistic could be recorded and – thankfully! – no central body within Muslim communities that has appointed itself responsible for work on this area of representation. There is no Islamic equivalent to the House of Clergy, and that kind of work is not within the remit of the MCB. read the complete article

10 Feb 2021

BBC vs Zara Mohammed: An exercise in Islamophobia

Zara Mohammed, a young Scottish Muslim, last week became the first woman to be elected as secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). This marks a historic occasion for the British Muslim community, and it could pave the way for much-needed change. On 4 February, the BBC's Emma Barnett interviewed Mohammed on Radio 4's Woman’s Hour programme. I had expected this huge milestone to be recognised with a genuine interest in Mohammed’s role and journey. Instead, Barnett chided and questioned her on the presence of female imams, Jewish-Muslim relations and how self-described "moderate" Muslims would be accommodated (citing Qanta Ahmed’s 2019 Spectator piece). read the complete article

10 Feb 2021

On the continued arrogance of white liberal feminism

Not content with the answers given, the host embarked on an antagonistic tirade about how Islam was lagging behind in women’s leadership. There are women priests and rabbis, she claimed, surely there must be female imams? You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a deeply held conviction for Barnett, such was the strength of feeling behind the line of questioning. You’d also be forgiven for not realising this was in fact the same presenter who was described as “a feminist who believes in equality for women, but, as an orthodox Jew, she’s uncomfortable with female rabbis.” read the complete article


10 Feb 2021

More than two attacks per day on Muslims in Germany in 2020

Over the course of 2020, there were at least 901 Islamophobic and anti-Muslim crimes that were registered with authorities according to the Neuer Osnabrücker Zeitung (NOZ), a regional German newspaper where the numbers were first reported. In 2019 there were more than 884 recorded incidences of anti-Muslim crimes in Germany. The increase in recorded anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2020 occurred despite the ongoing pandemic. In the offences recorded 48 people were injured compared to 34 people injured in 2019 and two deaths. read the complete article


10 Feb 2021

Major camera company can sort people by race, alert police when it spots Uighurs

Dahua, though among Chinese companies sanctioned by the U.S. government, has a growing presence in the country with sales and support offices in Irvine and Houston. Despite restrictions on its business within the country, the company struck a deal, reportedly valued at $10 million, with Amazon for 1,500 thermal cameras and there are 80 public contracts to purchase the company’s equipment in California alone. read the complete article

Today in Islamophobia, 10 Feb 2021 Edition


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